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CONCACAF World Cup Africa Update   By Aldwyn McGill

T&T could not Settle the Score with England

 The game billed as "A Score to Settle" between England and the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors turned out to be a "Take that and Cool it" affair as England settle the score early scoring two goals in the first 15 minutes enroute to a comfortable 3-0 win.
What was impressive about England victory was the fact that England coach Capello released Wayne Rooney, Frank Lampard, Andy Cole, and John Terry after England 2-0 victory over USA at Wembley Stadium just days earlier.
With all the hype surrounding the England practices in T&T, David Beckham was restored as the captain of the England team for the T&T game. As expected Beckham attracted large numbers of admirers and fans to the England practice and every time he got close to the fans or made a move with or without the ball the fans would go crazy.
England Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard were also getting a buzz from the crowd, while the player of great interest Jermain Defoe who was also creating a stir but with his skills and ability. His passes were crisp and it was anticipated that Defoe quickness would have created problems for the Soca Warriors defense.
The Warriors practice was not as engaging as the England team but with the announcement of Dwight Yorke arrival and inclusion in the team the day before the game a few people attended the T&T practice to see the Soca Warriors. By that time Kenwyne Jones was cleared to play by the team doctors and Carlos Edwards and Dennis Lawrence was back on the team.
On game day the Soca Warriors starting lineup had 6 players from the Germany World Cup squad. Goal keeper Clayton Ince got the nudge with Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards, Stern John, Kenwyne Jones and captain Aurtis Whitley rounding off the experienced part of the lineup.
However in spite of the experience the Warriors were on their heels from the opening whistle, as England pressed forward systematically only to have their strikers Defoe and Ashton missed a couple of good scoring opportunities.
Things got worse for the Warriors as their marquee striker Kenwyne Jones went down with a knee injury after colliding with England goalkeeper David James in an effort to pick up a through pass behind England defender Rio Ferdinand. It was the type of play which I thought Jones could have been better serve to leave alone, since it was still quite early in the game.
The lost of Jones did not help the Soca Warriors cause, but the play of the Warriors wing-backs did not improve their chances of being competitive either . What I find to be amazing is that the wing back positions in my estimation was also the Warriors downfall in their last game against the Reggae Boyz in Kingston in March
Cupid the Warriors right wing back was making unforced errors continuously in his defensive zone while his distribution, coverage and positioning was beyond atrocious. Wayne Bridges the Warriors left back was giving Beckham too much space resulting in Beckham having lots of time and touches on the ball that resulted in several dangerous crosses to the England strikers.
It was on one of these crosses that Ashton opened the scoring for England at the 12 minute mark while Defoe continued to mesmerize the Warriors defenders only to score at the 14 minute and 48 minute to give England the 3-0 victory.
T&T had a few chances of their own when substitute Darryl Roberts shot straight to the goalkeeper after coming on for Kenwyne Jones in the first half. Team captain Aurtis Whitley had the best chance to break the shutout but shot high from close range in the dying stages of the game.
Dwight Yorke made a grand appearance at the 74 minute after replacing Khaleem Hyland in the midfield after coach Maturana made several substitutions at the half and towards the end of the game.
Coach Capello also did some house cleaning and replaced Beckham, Ferdinand, Gerrard and Ashton at the half and brought Crouch into the game towards the end


T&T to face England with David Beckham & Co

What should Politics and Sports have in common? Patriotism

It is unbelievable that the biggest International friendly game in the history of the Trinidad and Tobago football (TTFF) between the T&T Soca Warriors and England had to be solidified by a T&T court decision. The parties involved, the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Sports and the (TTFF) settled their contractual disagreement for the use of the Hasley Crawford Stadium for the game on Sunday before Justice Carol Gobin.


Some how it seems like since World Cup 2006 Germany, every time something positive happens in the Trinidad and Tobago senior football program a negative situation always seems to present itself to neutralize any progress; And maybe that is because the P in Professionalism and Patriotism always seems to be confused and mixed up with People in Position, Party and Power, which eradicates the Positive attitudes of the Soca Warriors Players.


It is important to note that after it was revealed that the contract for the rental of the Hasley Crawford Stadium was not secured and everyone was wondering if the England-T&T game was going to take place, the England team was still going about their business and busy in training for their game against USA as the squad worked on passing, movement and finishing for their game against USA, on Wednesday 28.


The mere thought that the reports out of Trinidad was based on the contractual disagreement between the TTFF and the Ministry of Sport and the matter was heading to court for a resolution and not an arrange meeting between the two in lieu of the fact that the TTFF had secured an agreement with one of the largest drawing card in football (England) with the likes of Beckham, Rooney, and Crouch I thought was mind boggling.

With the chips down and the image of the Trinidad and Tobago at stake cooler head prevailed and the parties have reached an amicable resolution under Justice Carol Gobin only after Justice Gobin excused herself several times to allow the two parties to negotiate to a settlement.


What’s wrong with this picture is that everyone that I spoke to knew that this agreement could and should have been reached without being a distraction to everyone involved especially since the England FA attorneys were threatening the TTFF with a law suit if their end of the contract was not satisfied and a with vast number of football enthusiast and journalist sitting on their airline tickets.

 I reinforce Justice Gobin sentiment that "It is a pity that things had to reach here. This could have been settled outside of court."


One has to wonder how a country like Trinidad and Tobago with the money and highly qualified people and some of the highest managerial skills in the Caribbean could be caught up in a turmoil that was the result of a lack of communication.  


With the England game previously billed as "A Score to Settle" game, I have made it my duty to be in Trinidad for the England, Jamaica and Bermuda game, in order to see which game should have be billed as “A Score to Settle” since the Soca Warriors was dominated by England at World Cup 2006 Germany and also by the Reggae Boyz at the Rhythms Clash in Jamaica in March.


Failing to settle the score in those games would mean that T&T will need to advance past Bermuda into the third round and use “A Score to Settle” as an appropriate objective or Motto to return to the world stage to show the world there improvement at World Cup South Africa 2010.

Stay Tune to Caribbean Camera and www.caribbeanstars.com for more World Cup Soccer updates.



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